Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope that you enjoyed a day full of good food, family, and friends. We hosted another successful Thanksgiving dinner, and I look forward to sharing the new recipes within the coming weeks.

These pumpkin snickerdoodles would be the perfect addition to holiday baking. I brought them to a friend's birthday party and everyone raved about them. They are a light, airy cookie that's subtle on the pumpkin flavor. I can't make these unless I have somewhere to bring them because we couldn't stop eating them! I found this recipe on Sweet Pea's Kitchen.

You will need:
*2 3/4 cups flour
*2 teaspoons cream of tartar
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I might increase this a bit next time)
*1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
*2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
*1 large egg
*3/4 cup pumpkin puree
*2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silipats.

2. Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.

3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the bowl of dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball and roll into the sugar mixture; place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.
(I needed to add more cinnamon and sugar than noted above. So I would keep extra on hand.)

5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway. You wanted the edges set and just beginning to brown but the centers still soft and puffy. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack using a wide spatula. Cool at room temperature.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BBQ Beer Shredded Chicken

I love using the crockpot on Sundays. Dinner is quickly prepped in the morning and ready by the end of the day. This recipe is from one my absolute favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is. We've made this recipe twice recently. Every one who has tried it has enjoyed it. The best part, at least to me, is that it yields a lot of leftovers. You could make sandwiches, nachos, quesadillas, and much more with this chicken. We usually have sandwiches and portion out enough for two lunches and freeze the rest. We were able to simply freeze the remainder in a Ziplock bag. I defrosted it in the fridge when we were ready to enjoy it again. It reheated really well. I highly recommend you try this soon!

It is definitely worth splurging on the barbeque sauce suggested in the recipe. As far as beer goes, I've made this with Sam Adams Lager and the Octoberfest. Any beer would work, but I'd stay away from light beers for this recipe. I look forward to trying it again with a Winter Lager next month. I have a slight obsession with Sam Adams seasonal beers. (With exception to the disgusting spring option, Noble Pils)

You will need:
*3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen will work)
*1 tablespoon onion powder
*1 tablespoon smoked paprika
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*8 ounces of beer (and clearly, you should drink the remaining 4oz)
*32 ounces of Bone Suckin' barbecue sauce

1. Place the chicken in the crockpot. Top with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. (Don't worry if you accidentally dump it all in. I did this once, and it didn't make a noticeable difference!) Cook on low for 8 hours.

2. Shred the chicken with two forks; add remaining barbecue sauce. Keep on warm setting until serving. Enjoy!